She's a US Open champion, and now a Sports Illustrated cover story.
American Sloane Stephens and her new hardware grace the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, breaking an 18-year drought for the US Open on the cover of the magazine.
Stephens is also the first female tennis player to appear on the cover since Serena Williams in 2015.
The cover story, titled "Sloane Steady: The Complex Rise of Sloane Stephens," by S.L. Price is available to read in full online at SI.com.
The long read captures the rise of Stephens into a Grand Slam champion, from her early years, to partnering with coach Kamau Murray, to the foot injury that kept her away from tennis for nearly a year -- and which became the centerpiece of one of the game's greatest comeback tales.
The feature also includes the story of another life-changing moment for Stephens at the US Open, which took place in 2009: it was at the tournament where she learned that her father, former NFL player John Stephens, died in car accident.
“\I didn’t think I would ever be able to regroup here, at this place, because it was just filled with so many emotions—and not good ones,” Stephens told Price.
“If someone told me when my dad died that I would end up winning the U.S. Open years later, I would’ve been, like, You’re crazy. It is crazy. But I’ve had so many great moments here, and so many sad moments here, that winning, here, makes it even more special.”